Phil & Teds Sport Review
phil&teds are famous for producing inline pushchairs that can take you anywhere. We've put the new phil&teds sport with unique auto stop brake to the test…
We really like the security of the auto stop feature, particularly when tackling hills, heavily laden, and around busy roads or platforms, and appreciate how light the sport is to push in single or double modes.
- Lots of riding options
- Lovely tall main seat
- Unique auto stop brake
- Heavy to lift when folded
- Large gap left in the back of seat between hood and seat top when reclined unless the storm or sun backflap is purchased (sunmesh backflap in included with double kit)
The sport chassis rolls on three 12″ air-filled tyres that can truly handle any terrain or ground conditions. We've taken it over grass, gravel, mud, pavements and even snow. Not once did the push feel laboured at all.
The front wheel is a swivelling wheel for negotiating shops and busy places around town but can be locked for tackling rougher terrain. The push was surprisingly smooth all round, considering there is actually very little in the way of suspension on the sport chassis.
The basket is a great size and really easy to access from all angles in single mode. You can easily carry two or three bags of shopping or your changing bag and other essentials. When you use the sport as a tandem with the second seat in place, you do lose this space as the child's feet take up the large basket.
The sport has the fabulous addition of the phil&teds auto stop brake feature. This great system means that If you just let go of the handle bar, then the pushchair stops instantly. This braking system is unique and fab, but does take a little getting used to! Your first few drives may be a bit bumpier than your little one expected! When you are positive that you don't need your brake, you can hook the red brake bar to the handle bar with a rotating clip.
The handlebar adjusts in height and the highest setting was perfect for out 5'6" tester. The handlebar is covered in rubber material to make it easy to grip and the circumference of the handlebar sits nicely in the palm of your hand. We did find that the red autostop bar meant for a less comfortable feeling when pushing the pushchair for any length of time.
The seating options on the sport buggy are seemingly endless.
The main seat is a tall and roomy forward-facing seat. The seat fabrics and linings are really nicely padded and give baby a lovely comfortable space to nestle in. This seat liner can also be removed in the inevitable event of a spillage!
The seat reclines to a fully flat position, making it suitable for newborns. The strap recline system has buckles on each side of the seat back. If we are honest, this recline system is fiddly and we even had to balance the seat on our head whilst fiddling with the clips with two hands. A lever recline system would have been much easier to operate.
When in the upright position, the seat back was straight and great for older children.
Though the main seat does not have the option of parent-facing, the double kit second seat can be used as a parent-facing seat so your young baby can have eye contact with you.
The five-point harness is well padded and each strap clips into the central buckle individually. There was plenty of length left in the harness straps even after extending them for our 20kg child tester.
The hood is a great size and has a small pop-out sun visor, but it has the so-called ‘follow-the-sun' feature, where the hood is not attached to the seat and can be moved down to follow the sun and provide full coverage. This is fantastic in hotter weather but in the winter months and to stop draughts, you will need to attach a rear weathershield flap to fill the gaps and make the seat a little more snug. When you purchase the second seat, you receive a free mesh panel that can be used to shield the baby in the lower seat and offer a bit more protection there too.
In the side of the hood are two fabulous storage pouches for keeping smaller belongings close at hand. We found these great for putting juice bottles and dummies in.
The main seat has a bumper bar for when you have an older toddler riding up front. It's not a pivoting bar so does need to be removed fully to get your child in and out, but it's easy to pop on and off and this took very little time at all.
The sport, of course, is not just a single pushchair and can be used in loads of configurations. phil&teds call these ‘riding options' and there really are many to choose from.
It's simple to convert the sport into a double inline buggy by purchasing a second seat. The seat has a padded adjustable five-point harness and one-hand lever recline so that the child on the bottom can nap in comfort too. There isn't a sun hood on this second seat but the child gets shelter from the seat in front of them. We found there was sufficient room to get the baby or child in the second seat in and out and our 2-year-old was just able to squeeze his legs into the basket space when sitting in the second seat.
You can also attach the second seat to the front of the buggy, allowing for your toddler to ride up front whilst your baby lies flat in the seat below. To do this, you need to remove the bumper bar and use the elbow adapters to clip the second seat into position where the bar was previously situated.
The sport can also be used with car seats and the phil&teds carrycot, which gives the pushchair great versatility; something that can be hard to find in an all-terrain buggy.
If you are using the second seat on the front or back of the sport, you will need to remove this seat from the buggy before you are able to fold it. To remove the second seat, press in the two tiny silver buttons and click the seat out - you might need to dig your nails in for this part!
Underneath the footrest you will see two red buttons and a palm clasp. Just push one of these red buttons to the side (left or right, it doesn't matter!) and squeeze the palm clasp button in too. In one fell swoop, the pushchair will fold in half and lock itself into a reasonably flat package. This can be made smaller by popping the wheels off - which is a swift and easy motion to carry out. The sport buggy was super-light to push but we actually found it quite heavy to lift in and out of the car - however, this is a small price to pay for all its other attributes.
There's no doubt that the sport buggy is one of the most versatile all-terrain buggies on the market right now. There are a few fiddly aspects such as the clip recline system and the fact that the bumper bar does not swing open, and it's pretty heavy to lift, but we can't help but be won over by the convenience of chopping and changing between double and single pushchair as and when you need. The 59cm wheelbase means you can weave in and out of shops easily and fit through gates and small openings when out on rambling walks. We really like the security of the auto stop feature, particularly when tackling hills, heavily laden, and around busy roads or platforms, and appreciate how light the sport is to push in single or double modes.